Animated GIFs and Web Design

If you haven’t noticed, animated GIFs are a mainstay of our culture now. From Instagram Stories using the Boomerang option to Facebook Messenger and comments having built-in GIF search support, animated GIFs are everywhere. Think about it like this, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a moving picture is worth 10,000. GIFs, for me, provide a more visual way to express emotion when I am using them. But I also want to suggest that they can help add some animation and pizazz to your website and landing pages. (Hint: you can also add them to your email campaigns. I’ll include directions at the end of this post.)

Will Animated GIFs Work for You?

Let me say that there are a lot GIFs out there what would not work on a business website. Like this:

But if you move past the ones like this, you’ll possibly find a treasure trove of animated images perfect for your business and brand. There are a lot of GIFs that are just simple animations. They come in a variety of colors and can provide movement and grab attention. They could be especially useful for Calls to Action or to emphasize key information. So, before you discount them as part of the culture of the young, give them a try.

Using Premade GIFs

There are a number of GIF directories you can use. Giphy is the biggest one that I know of. It has a convenient search bar and has a huuuuge selection of everything from memes to animations. Before you search, make sure you are aware you’ll have to look a little bit. Searching for “celebrate” will bring you an assortment of GIFs and might overwhelm you. Adding words such as illustration or design with your search will help filter out the less professional GIFs.

Now, let me give you my tip for nabbing you GIF minus any branding. I occasionally find GIFs that this doesn’t work, but it’s rare.

In your search results on Giphy, click on the GIF you want. In the page that comes up, you’ll want to click on the Media option next to the GIF.


In the options that appear, copy the URL of the Small size.

Open a new tab or window and paste this URL into the window. What comes up is the GIF with all of Giphy’s branding. But if you right-click on the actual GIF and select “Open Image in New Tab”, you’ll get just the image. Just make sure the URL ends in .gif.

Now, just right-click the image and “Save As”. You should be able to upload this anywhere and use it – including in email campaigns!

Give Animated GIFs a Try

Now that you’ve got a basic idea of how animated GIFs can help and how to snag one for yourself, give them a try. Test it out with your audience. I’m not saying every since thing needs to be plastered with them. But using them occasionally can give your business a bit more than a simple image.

Stay tuned because I plan on doing a tutorial on creating your own GIFs!

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